The alarmists will say: Come back, Republicans and Democrats. Join together in happy comity at the center of Mr. Kohut's room. Mr. Kohut and his friends will tell us what policy to accept and at what cost to taxpayers. Yet in the last three and a half years, the federal government has increased its size to almost 25 percent of the Gross Domestic Product, up from under 20 percent. Traditionally, in peacetime it has been under 20 percent. Is it really wise to accept the Bien Pensants' 25 percent now and into eternity.
There is another matter. Has anyone paid any attention to how effective these policies have been over the past 25 years? Or how expensive they have become? Or what other matters have inched their way up the national agenda, such as the federal debt that today stands at $16 trillion? Possibly, it is time to review our experience with, say, the scope and performance of government or the social net and seek alternative solutions. Perhaps it is time to learn from experience.
To all the alarmed social scientists at the Pew Research Center, I would suggest that ever more Republicans and even many Independents have learned from experience with these public policies. They want to employ different approaches to them like entitlements, which are putting this country on the path to Greece. They also might want to privatize or follow Rep. Paul Ryan's policies of choice.
Some people learn from experience. Some people just keep plodding along, spending more money and heading for bankruptcy. And some seem to believe they can scare the electorate into doing the same old thing. The colleagues at the Pew Research Center are to be numbered among the latter, but they ought to review the content of the policies that Republicans are deserting. We tried them, and they failed.
R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is founder and editor-in-chief of The American Spectator and an adjunct scholar at the Hudson Institute. He is the author of the forthcoming book "The Death of Liberalism." To find out more about R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
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